Boys vs. Girls

9 05 2013

Teen Girl and Boy Using Cell Phones

I have heard so many times that boys are easier to raise than girls. But I know firsthand that this is just a myth. Maybe I am the luckiest mom in the world, but my daughter gave me few, if any problems. I waited for the tantrums, emotional instability, and drama that is supposed to accompany teenage girls, but they never came. Don’t get me wrong — my daughter is no angel, but besides a little back talk and sass, it was pretty smooth sailing through my daughter’s teenage years.

My daughter is 18 now and in college and if anything I feel closer to her now than ever. I was lucky that my she was open and shared what was happening in her life as she navigated through middle school and high school. Sometimes I heard things that I didn’t want to know, but I never felt like I was being shut out of her life.

Now with my boys, it is a different story. Talk about pulling teeth to get a little information…I ask them how their school day was and I am lucky to get a two-syllable answer. No details are offered and careful interrogation skills have to be applied to get even a glimpse of what is going on in their lives.

My oldest son is wrapping up his freshman year in high school. He is good student, is involved in student government, and has already lettered in varsity sports. He is my social butterfly, always surrounded by a group of friends. Thank goodness that he always has two or three friends with him, as they are more likely to spill the beans on what is going on than he is. If he likes a girl I will usually find this out by listening to conversations taking place in the backseat while I am driving. My son will not offer up any information, but his friends will usually rat him out when I put them on the spot.

Even when information is offered, a lot of times it is not completely accurate. For example, my husband and I went to the football homecoming game to cheer on my son as he and other freshman leadership students presented the class float during halftime. Once his leadership duties were done he disappeared. My husband and I didn’t think much of it, as we figured he was hanging out with friends (there is no way he would sit with his parents in the bleachers during a game!).

Towards the end of the game a group of his friends approached us and asked if we knew where he was. This should have been our first clue that he was up to no good. We tried calling our son on his cell phone, but it went straight to voice mail. When the game ended and the bleachers were emptied, my son was still nowhere to be found. It wasn’t until my husband texted my son telling him he better respond or he would be in severe trouble, that my son finally answered.

According to my son, he left the game and walked down the street to McDonalds with a group of friends. He said he would meet us back at the school in about 10 minutes. We were pretty mad by this time so we told him we would drive down to McDonalds to pick him up. When we got there, the restaurant was closed, and had been for two hours! We drove back up to the high school and found my son waiting by the parking lot.

He tried to say that he ran back up to the school. But unless he could run a 30 second mile, this was virtually impossible. We told him we just came from McDonalds and that it had been closed for two hours so he better come clean. He then claimed that he and some other friends went for a drive in a classmate’s truck and ran late coming back.

I knew there had to be more to the story and I could tell my son was trying to evade us with his answers. It took intense prodding, but it finally came out that my son went off with a girl (a junior at that!) to “make out.” We ended up grounding him and taking away his cell phone for a week for lying and not letting us know where he was.

My oldest son is a little more forthcoming now, but I suspect there are a lot of things my husband and I will not find out about until my son is grown.

My youngest son is an even tougher egg to crack. He is our most “spirited” child and is not afraid to tell it like it is and stand up for his beliefs. He will be entering high school next year and if middle school is any indicator, he will guard his privacy and independence with his life.

He knows it is torture for me to be shut out of his life so he throws me a carrot once in while, but most of time I have to find out from classmate’s parents that he tore up the dance floor at the school dance or that he shot a long basket during basketball practice.

I long for the days that my daughter would come home and ask for my advice on how to handle situations and keep me in the loop. My boys are different creatures altogether.

Thank goodness for text message records and Facebook!

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Letter to my children

2 01 2012

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As the New Year rolls in it makes me think of how fast time goes by. It seemed like yesterday when my young daughter asked “What year will I graduate?”  When my husband and I said “2012” it seemed like an eternity away. Yet here we are in 2012, our senior in high school getting ready to graduate and our boys, no longer boys but young men, starting to have girlfriends and thinking about what type of cars they want to drive.

My mom always told me to cherish the time I have with my kids because it will go by so quickly. I didn’t really believe it, it seemed like we had all the time in the world. But here I am looking back at the years and cherishing every minute I’ve had in my kid’s lives. I think of all the people who have come in and out my life in the last 17 years and I cherish the memories I hold.

I am hoping that 2012 will be a great year, but I also know that every minute is a gift and life can be taken in the blink of an eye. If something were to happen to me there are some things I would want my children to know:

Dear Children:

Treasure every minute and live your life to the fullest. Do not be afraid to try new things or travel. Explore and learn about others in different countries. You may be surprised at how alike we all are. If you are feeling trapped, break out of that rut and keep the adventure going in your life. 

Realize that life is not fair. Things are not always going to go your way.  It takes hard work to stay in a relationship or advance at work. Put forth your best effort in everything you do. It may not seem like your efforts are worth it at the time, but in the long run they will pay off.

Love what you do. Don’t get into a job just because it pays a lot. Find something you are passionate about and the personal satisfaction you get will be worth much more than any amount of money.

Know that you are important. You are here on this earth for a reason. God gave you life and it is in your hands to make the most of that life. Do not settle for an average life. You are greater than that. Take your talents and put them to good use.

Give back to others what you have been blessed with. There are so many people living in poverty and despair. Be kind and help those less fortunate. Whether it be homeless animals or orphaned children, find a cause and be their voice.

Finally, remember that the most important thing in this world is family.  When it comes down to it nothing else really matters. To see your children grow into amazing young adults is one of the greatest gifts a person can get.

And yes, time will fly by so quickly, so cherish every moment you have with your loved ones.

Love,

Mom

 

 

 

 

 

 

 





Triple the Trouble

9 10 2011

Kids Skating In Front of Parents

We were warned by older, wiser parents. “Just wait until they are teenagers. You won’t even recognize your little angels.”  But my husband and I didn’t listen. We knew we wouldn’t have any trouble with our kids. After all, we were young, hip, and current on all the parenting literature out there.

Fast forward 10 years. Our sweet little girl turned 17 in August. Our firstborn boy will be 14 in two months. And our baby boy is 12, but has been acting like a teenager for several years.

Raging hormones, defiance, and secrets run rampant through our household. What happened to our sweet obedient children that used to tell us that they loved us every day? We used to be their idols. But now that they teenagers we are the enemy.

I never thought I would hear the words “I hate you” come from the mouths of my offspring. And who would have  I would be called “mean” and “unfair.” As a young parent the words would have devastated me. But now when I hear them I know I am doing my job as a parent.

If I were “cool” maybe I would let my kids do whatever they wanted. I wouldn’t insist on knowing all their friends and to  know what is going on in their lives. I wouldn’t volunteer in their schools just to get a glimpse of my treasured children. I wouldn’t keep asking them questions when they tell me they did “nothing” today.

I am the mother of three teenagers. My life is a flurry of sports, concerts and other activities. It seems like we are in a constant state of chaos. But I wouldn’t trade it for the world.